From Harry Potter to Batman – V&A Hollywood Costume exhibition reveals all

Victoria & Albert Museum invites film fans on a sartorial journey through some of the film industry's biggest productions


Film fans can get up close and personal with iconic Tinseltown costumes at the Victoria & Albert Museum from Saturday morning. 


A new exhibition called Hollywood Costume – which is sponsored by jeweller to the stars Harry Winston – will open its doors on 20 October and run until 27 January 2013. 

The major new exhibition has gathered together over 130 of the most iconic and unforgettable movie costumes – from Holly Golightly’s little black dress and Vivien Leigh’s costume from Gone with the Wind to the clothes the cast of Twillight wore and Batman’s high tech suit from The Dark Knight Rises.

Lovers of Hollywood’s golden age will be able to strike a pose next to Marilyn Monroe’s celebrated white dress from The Seven Year Itch, while for modern film fans there’s Reese Witherspoon’s bold pink suit from Legally Blonde, costumes from the Harry Potter films and that green dress from Atonement. 


A highlight of the exhibition is the inclusion of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, which have made their first journey outside of the US to become part of the exhibition. The shoes, which were worn by Judy Garland in the film The Wizard of Oz, will be reunited with Dorothy’s blue and white gingham dress for the first time since filming ceased in 1939. 

Of the remarkable exhibition Senior Guest Curator Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis said: “Many people will come to this exhibition to see their favourite character, their favourite person, but I hope that they’re going to leave with a much greater understanding of the costume designer’s contribution to the storytelling.” 

It has also recently been announced that the BFI will be permanently transferring its extensive collection of film costumes to the V&A. At a dinner which celebrated the opening of the Hollywood Costume exhibition, Paul Ruddock, Chairman of the V&A Board of Trustees, said: “It is my great pleasure to announce that the BFI’s wonderful collection of film costumes, a number of which are on display in Hollywood Costume, will join the V&A’s permanent collections. Design for film is a fascinating subject and the transfer of the BFI’s collection of film costumes represents an exciting new area of collecting for the V&A.’


Hollywood Costumes opens tomorrow. To book tickets visit the V&A website